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Thursday, August 10, 2006

André Kertész, Café du Dome, Winter Morning

André Kertész, Café du Dome, Winter Morning, 1928

(click here for the Romanian Version)
You start at a café table because everything in Paris starts at a café table.
(Irving Shaw, Paris! Paris!)

The little cafés at five in the morning - their windows steamed over - boiling hot coffee.
(Albert Camus, Notebooks 1935-1942)

André Kertész, Paris Breakfast

And here is the setting of a breakfast. As in many other photos of Kertész, a subtle enigma floats there, within the image, and space is left for our imagination (or for our dreams?), to suggest some answers. There is a hidden human presence in this photo - or even two persons, and the breakfast table is a symbol of the relationship between them. Elisabeth, the wife of the artist, the love of his life.
André met her in 1919, in Budapest. Elisabeth was also an artist and she understood his genius and encouraged him to move to France. He came to Paris in 1925 and made his name with some of the most poetic images of the city ever captured on film (Coachwords).
She came after some years and they got married in 1933. After three years they immigrated to New York, and Kertész started again the struggle for recognition. She passed away in 1977. A life of mutual love and support.

The image at right is made in 1931... together as shadows, almost connected, as their regards appear to be reaching out to touch each other (Stephen Daiter Gallery: Selected Essays from André Kertész: Observations, Thoughts, Reflections ).

André Kertész, Elisabeth and Me in a Montparnasse Café, 1931


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